The free Summer STEAM Camp targets current fourth, fifth and sixth grade students. Due to space, the maximum number of students accepted into the camp is 200. Organizers will fill seats on a first to apply, first to serve basis.
The camp will take place July 23-26 at Houston Academy, which is located at 8103 Carver Rd. (Houston, TX 77088). The hours will be 7:45 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
The District will provide shuttle service each day of the camp. Parents using the shuttle service will need to drop off campers at strategic points. These strategic locations are Black Elementary, Carter Academy, Dunn Elementary, Jones Elementary and Stephens Elementary. District buses will pick up and drop off students at these pick-up/drop-off sites.
The District will provide breakfast and lunch every day of camp to all students taking part. Parents should detail food allergens on the AISD STEAM Summer Camp Application.
For more information, contact Olivia Boatner at [email protected] or by phone at (281) 985-6559.
STEAM education helps students from different perspectives to understand the link between different disciplines to improve their comprehensive use of knowledge to solve practical problems.
The acronym stands for science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics. STEAM education brings together the creative and scientific processes. Both are about exploration of ideas and possibilities. Both have a “process” and “product” aspect to them. In both, students engage in creative and critical thinking that supports collaborative learning.
Economic projections suggest future career opportunities in STEM/STEAM. Companies in a wide array of fields want and need innovative, creative minds.
Everyone from engineers to mathematicians and laboratory scientists can agree. Building great things and solving real problems requires a measure of creativity. Additionally, more and more artists are seeing the benefit of STEM in their work. They are using technological tools and scientific processes for their art.
STEAM education is crucial to prepare the next generation. They will create jobs and grow the economy.
Aldine ISD seeks to increase students’ interest in STEAM. That is why the District is offering a free STEAM Summer Camp. The fun environment gives campers a place to create, explore, learn and make new friends.
This is the third year that the District offers a free STEM summer camp. And this is the second year that the camp incorporates the arts to make it a STEAM event.
Several program directors in science, the arts and magnet schools are working together. They have set out to offer students exciting ways to get hands-on experience. Students will have fun while they learn important STEAM concepts. The arts infuse creativity and interest into a student’s learning process.
“Not all students immediately gravitate to STEM,” said Dr. Micahelann Kelley, director of fine arts. “They need something that sparks their interest. It may be the creative piece that hooks them. We incorporate art to show students the creativity in what they’re doing. We want to inspire their imagination. It allows them to explore their own creative interests. We also give them a better picture of what it means to work in a STEM field. You don’t need to be a scientist or engineer to work in STEM. Companies are also hiring designers and artists to drive innovation.
“STEAM uses design methods to approach STEM subjects creatively. It makes them real–world relevant to all students.”
Students will take part in cross-curricular investigations to increase STEAM learning. Simply put, educators and students take information and use art and play. This reinforces students’ ability to understand something. It is another way to help students with different learning styles. Cross-curricular teaching is a growing trend in education. And one that Aldine has been using for years.
The goal of this integrated learning strategy is to ensure students have fun. At the same time, students gain a deeper understanding of concepts.
Object-based learning encourages research. It fosters close observation and critical analysis. These are skills both artists and scientists share in common.
“STEAM increases learning,” said Olivia Boatner, program director of magnet schools. “The interdisciplinary model helps students become better engineers. How? They learn how to think artistically. We also engage artists in STEM fields. In STEAM, creativity is key. It addresses through real–world projects why the STEM subjects should matter to everyone.”
Aldine ISD teachers will lead the lessons and activities during the camp. Students will have fun working and playing during hands-on, student-centered activities.
Alternative & Renewable Energy
Want to learn about energy sources and how to think green? Students will learn about energy sources and how to think green. They will investigate alternative energy strategies. Using Snap Circuits Green® products, students will also build projects. This will increase understanding of these systems.
Get into the flow by learning what electricity is and what circuits are. Students will explore these and more as they use Snap Circuits® to build and test circuits. They will discover that learning electronics is easy and fun!
Students will get to use Pixie software to create pictures! Students will learn to use their creativity to share ideas, imagination, and understanding. They will create a “portrait” of Texas through a combination of text and images.
Students get a chance to have a superhero persona. They will design a digital illustration. Students will use Comic Life to create and design original stories. They will discover how they communicate through the artful use of text and images. They will enjoy learning the principles, grammar and fluency of visual storytelling.
Engineering: Mechanics & Structures
This will challenge students to learn about simple machines and how they help us do work. K’NEX Simple Machines activities introduce students to the scientific concepts. They will also build a few simple machines.
Students will also learn about the Greek philosopher Plato. They will use Zometool Plato’s Perfect Shapes. The activity will teach students about three-dimensional solids known as the Platonic Solids. Students will learn what makes the shapes special and the relationship between these. They will also build the five solids — tetrahedron, cube, octahedron, dodecahedron and icosahedron.
Robotics and Control Technology
Students will discover the exciting world of robots! Teachers will introduce students to robotics, engineering and programming. Students will use Legos® WeDo Robotics to build and program their own robots. The hands-on activities will have students using language, math, science and technology.
Software Engineering (aka Coding/Programming)
Computer programming is an in-demand skill. Kodu is a free game-making app. It introduces students to coding in a fun experience. They will create a video game via a simple visual programming language. Aside from coding, Kodu teaches creativity, problem solving and storytelling.
Coding and 21st century skills are necessary. Sphero goes beyond code by incorporating robotics and technology with collaborative STEAM activities that nurture students’ imaginations.
The Arts (the “A” in STEAM)
Visual Arts: Binary Code & Painting Fun
We are talking about laying a foundation for coding through the use of art. This is about training students’ brains to think like computer programmers. Many educators and researchers argue that the basic skills of coding, such as sequencing, pattern recognition and if/then conditional logic, should be introduced alongside or even before traditional reading, writing and math.
Performing Arts: Percussion Drumming
Kids who are involved in drumming learn to focus their attention and effort on one activity. This improves a child’s abilities to concentrate and stay focused. Studies reveal that playing a percussion instrument strengthens skills in math and science.
Performing Arts: Shark Tank
Students will learn the fine art of persuasion. The young entrepreneurs will create a product that they will need to pitch to investors.
Performing Arts: Theater
There are many transferable skills theater students develop. These are skills that an individual can use in any career. They are also skills many employers want. Transferable skills include: oral communication skills, creative problem solving abilities, teamwork, the ability to work independently, time management skills, leadership skills and confidence.
Economic projections suggest future career opportunities. The STEM Jobs: 2017 Update issued by the Office of the Chief Economist at the U.S. Department of Commerce Economics and Statistics Administration predicts growth as well. Projections show STEM occupations to grow by 8.9 percent from 2014 to 2024. That is in contrast to non-STEM jobs. Projections show a 6.4 percent growth in these areas. The recent report also shows that STEM workers command higher wages. They earn 29 percent more than their non-STEM counterparts in 2015.
STEM jobs are on the rise. And there is a demand to fill these positions. NASA, for example, seeks to increase student interest in STEM as the space agency aspires to man a mission to Mars by the 2030s. That means it will need experts to accomplish the mission.
Currently, the U.S. is struggling to get students to pursue STEM careers. When children enter a U.S. high school, one in four has an interest in STEM. Only 4 percent of bachelor degrees in the U.S. were awarded in engineering as opposed to 31 percent in China.
STEAM education is crucial to prepare the next generation. They will create jobs and grow the economy.
Those at the forefront of innovation have been merging arts and science practice.
One study focused on STEM graduates. It tracked those who successfully opened their own businesses or filed for patents. The study showed a clear pattern. They were eight times more likely to have been exposed to the arts as children than the average person.
The arts and creativity are crucial to STEM learning and careers. The “A” in STEAM includes technical writing. This is a hard skill. Writing a cohesive lab report not only incorporates data. Effectively and correctly analyzing data requires strong technical skills. In many fields, writing is an art. Another example to consider is mechanical engineering. It requires creativity and the results are feats of art. These works require thoughtful and practical mechanical design as well as functional design.
The arts and sciences concepts often overlap. For example, reading music involves fractions. Theater set design requires measurement, geometric shapes and spatial reasoning.
In some schools across the country, they use the arts as a method to interpret, present and share work. Students can draw, dramatize and dance. They can compose music. These are methods of sharing their learning in math and science. The arts can also serve as an assessment tool for STEM learning. Students can articulate their learning in a STEM subject through the arts. For example, they can use geometric concepts in a drawing. Or they can show patterns in music. These can be an engaging and powerful approach to learning.
Director of Written Communication & Spanish Media
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